Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Uruguay: Internet Spreads Carnival Around the World

January 28 marked the opening of the 2010 Carnival in Uruguay with the traditional inaugural parade. Advertised as the longest Carnival in the world—starting late January and ending early March—the event encompasses 40 days of festivities each year. This year, the Internet and social media have allowed people from all over the world to read, hear, and see what the Uruguayan Carnival is all about.

Percussionists play candombe during parade Las Llamadas (The Callings). Picture taken by Flickr user ERBR and used under a Creative Commons license.

Percussionists play candombe during parade Las Llamadas (The Callings). Picture taken by Flickr user ERBR and used under a Creative Commons license.

Carnival in Uruguay includes parades similar to those seen in Carnivals around the world, with queens, percussionists and colorful costumes taking over the streets, dancing to the beat of national rhythms. One of the most important events of the Uruguayan Carnival is the contest [es], where performers compete in their chosen category representing Uruguay’s distinctive musical and artistic richness: murga, negros y lubolos (playing candombe), parodistas [es], humoristas [es], and revista [es].

Carnival can be a melancholic and nostalgic time for Uruguayans living abroad, but thanks to the blog [es] and Twitter page [es] Todo el Carnaval, Uruguayans all over the world can download audio and videos of the day’s performances. Todo el Carnaval also provides Carnival music year round; its creator, Yuri, is backing up personal Carnival VHS videos and cassettes going back to the 1970s:

Todo el carnaval, es algo asi como un lugar donde decidi compartir todo el material audio visual que dispongo sobre carnaval. La idea original fue la de hacer un respaldo sobre este material y se convirtió en este blog, para compartirlo con todo el mundo.

Todo el carnaval, is something like a place where I decided to share all the audiovisual material that I have about carnival. The original idea was to make a backup of this material, and it turned into this blog, to share it with the whole world
Murga ensemble Los Curtidores de Hongos performing at 2009 carnival. Photo taken by Raúl Antoine, Flickr user rantoine2008, and used under a Creative Commons license.

Murga ensemble Los Curtidores de Hongos performing at 2009 carnival. Photo taken by Raúl Antoine, Flickr user rantoine2008, and used under a Creative Commons license.

Listening to the Carnival live is also an option. The popular site for Carnival information, Carnaval del Futuro [es], created a radio [es] which tunes listeners live into festivities, and promises 24 hours of streaming coverage.

Video by Eduardo Gamero:

Journalist and blogger Enrique Filguerias [es] explains that this radio will broadcast throughout the year:

Los carnavaleros estarán de fiesta con esta novedad, impulsada por Carnaval del Futuro: Disponer de una emisora a través de la cual poder difundir el Carnaval, en forma continuada y sin interrupciones, durante los doce meses del año […] De abril a diciembre, en la grilla se encontrarán con espacios dedicados a difundir el Carnaval del Interior, con la totalidad del Regional de San José y ya se están gestionando otros certámenes representativos.
También se apostará a una producción de programas originales que combinarán lo periodístico y lo musical, transmisiones de eventos en directo, grabaciones de los espectáculos que se ofrecen en las salas montevideanas y se contará con enviados especiales en las giras que se realicen.

Carnival enthusiasts will be happy about this news, promoted by Carnaval del Futuro: to have a radio through which Carnival can be broadcasted, in a continuous form and without interruptions during the twelve months of the year […] From April to December, the radio will provide a space dedicated to broadcasting Carnival from the within the country, with the totality of the regional Carnival of San José, and is already negotiating with other representative contests. The radio will also produce original programs that combine journalism with music, live transmissions, recordings of the shows that take place in Montevideo and reports from tours by special correspondents.

Another online radio broadcasting live during the festivities is Radio Yorugua [es], from Los Yoruguas [es], a blog for and about Uruguayans living abroad. Los Yoruguas also offers a multimedia section dedicated to this year’s Carnival with information, videos, and pictures of the festivities.

El Pedregullo [es], also part of Carnaval del Futuro, calls itself “the online community of the Uruguayan Carnival.” This small online community acts like a social network where users can discuss events, post pictures and videos, and create groups:

El sitio está pensado para compartir todo lo referente a nuestro Carnaval. El Pedregullo, el lugar donde se cocina el Concurso. Ingresa y comparte tus fotos, videos, ideas.

This site was made to share everything related to our Carnival. The Pedregullo, the place where the contest takes place. Sign in and share your pictures, videos, ideas.

Uruguayans can confidently say they have the longest carnival in the world; not only because of its forty days of official festivities, but because the internet and social media are spreading its influence during the remaining 325 days.

5 comments

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site